Karachi-Pakistan, 13th of February 2015 [09:36am]
I decided to start my day by visiting Machar Colony through Liyari Expressway. A highway that currently in a status of dormant from construction is located along Liyari River. It is designed to relieve the traffic of this giant city. The peaceful ambiance creates when I drive for couple of minutes is seldom to find in a city with robust noise echoing from each vein of the small alley.
When we talk about Lyari we talk about a history!
It was a hotbed of radical politics and intellectuals who settled in the aftermath of bloody partition India-Pakistan and still an area where political parties are made or broken. During the era of Zia ul Haq, Lyari sustained the liberal resistance; it becomes the defense base of political activist who risked their lives to fight the oppression of fundamentalist military regime.
A dense populated area locates at the tip of the city. The town is a hub for Pakistan People Party and home for Sheedi community. Gang war, violent, football and targeted killing makes the town that was known as the oldest part of Karachi now become the epicenter of the most dangerous city in the world.
But for me Lyari is fascinating in many ways, I have visited the town several time. My journey to Liyari began couple of months with a first step to Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre. I had the picture of violent area at the back of my mind, being ready to rob or attacked, horrendous event was nothing but certainty. But 10 minutes drives crossing small road, passed a series of old British-era buildings in pale yellow and blue color embroidered by street vendor guarded by arm-man in Shalwaar Kameez and thick mustache depicting the old-school hindi actor, slowly ease my worry. It’s an area as other town of Karachi.
Long gone the heyday, my journey concluded as Lyari and its resident are caught in a time warp, living on the edge of a bustling city that used to consider it its heart, but no longer.
As old women who lost her lover, Lyari slowly fade away and succumb to time that once again change it destiny…